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In the past few years, social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and now TikTok have become an incredible new sales channel for brands of all sizes. And that trend is not stopping any time soon.
If you’re looking to start using IGTV as a sales or marketing channel for your business you are already on the right track for success.
If you’re like me when I started out though, you probably don’t really know where to go about it the best way. That’s totally fine! Every Instagram superstar has been there in the very beginning.
After working on hundreds of video editing jobs with my clients over the past couple of years, I think I’m okay to say I figured out what works and what doesn’t on IGTV.
So whether you are a one-man show business and take care of everything yourself or outsource video editing to scale up your video marketing efforts, at the end of the day you want to put out videos that convert.
So, in this post, I am going to break down by 5 best tips that will give you a head start with your Instagram videos. Let’s dive in.
Tip #1 Always go vertical
Many old-school video content creators, myself included, love those nice, wide, horizontal, cinematic-looking videos. I am totally guilty of that as well.
Even though Instagram lets you upload 16:9 videos, you will get much better results when you’re using vertical videos. Or at least a square 1:1 aspect ratio for your videos. Those aspect ratios will get you the most engagement, as per studies.
Sure, you can just take a 16:9 and crop the sides. That works, but it’s not the optimal way to do it. Instead, you actually want to film it vertically, up, and down. That’s the way IGTV and Insta Stories are working and that’s how you get the best look.
Moreover, you are saving yourself some time in post-production because you don’t have to spend an hour or two to edit your video, crop it, and re-frame it so that it looks good.
So always post vertical or square videos on Instagram. It will get more likes, more comments, and ultimately more leads for your business.
Tip #2 Give your videos a “behind the scenes” feel
A lot of times, as a service provider you want to use Instagram to show the best of the best of your business. You want to give your audience a glimpse of the internal stuff that’s going on and that makes your business different.
Insta Stories is a great way to tap into the behind-the-scenes. For example, if you’re into the video editing business like me, on your main page on your YouTube you probably want to show awesome videos, the final cuts, right?
But on your Insta Stories, you can show your video editing process, explain how you cut videos, what video rendering settings you’re using, and stuff that happens before people get to see the finished product of whatever your business is doing.
And this can be applied to any industry. You can film and show your audience your process in your own niche. And that way people will know that when they can come back to your IG Stories, they expect to see a certain type of content. That’s how you grow your following.
Tip #3 Don’t neglect quality
People expect a certain quality these days when they watch online videos, regardless if it’s on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. Maybe not on TikTok yet, joking 😊. Especially from people or brands that are trying to sell them something at the end of the day.
So, keep in mind that you will need good lighting, a good camera, good audio (yes, even on Instagram), and good video editing. These are all the things you want to remember when you’re doing IGTV or Instagram Stories. It’s really no different than creating other types of videos that you would invest more in, such as product videos, or training videos, or any videos that would go on your business website for example.
All the video content you put out represents your brand, your service, and what you have to offer to your clients, regardless of the platform you are using.
The better the quality, the better the results you will see from your video marketing efforts.
One quick tip here that’s slightly more technical and that I noticed many content creators doing – is to watch your frame rate. People tend to film videos at 60 frames per second these days, but unless you’re doing slow-motion scenes that will actually hurt video quality as it lets in less light in your videos.
So, shoot in 30 or 24 frames per second instead.
Tip #4 Get your titles and video cover game on
I cannot emphasize the importance of this tip enough.
Your headlines and video covers (or thumbnails) are what people see first and based on that they will make the decision to scroll or tap on your videos.
So that’s when you really want to capture their attention. The best way to do that is to include emotion. Emotional-based video covers will make more people want to click and watch the video. The same thing is valid for the headline.
So, what you can do for IGTV for example, because IGTV is pre-recorded, is to actually take a still photo of yourself after you are done filming, try to make to transmit emotion through that image, and use it as a video cover.
You will notice that more people will click through and eventually stick around to watch the video.
Don’t fall on the other side of this though. Your video cover can be intriguing for sure, but it doesn’t have to be clickbaity. Otherwise, people will just bounce right away which is not good for metrics and for the IG algorithm.
A PRO tip here that I started experimenting with later on is to have 2 or 3 different thumbnails or video covers ready to go for the same IGTV post and rotate them to see which one gets you the most engagement. Yeah, it is a little bit of extra work but sometimes it does pay off big time.
TIP #5 Create series
Last but not least, as the name success, it is Instagram TV. So, you might want to think more of the TV aspect of the platform.
Creating a daily or weekly schedule where you put up a series of episodes really helps with increasing viewership loyalty and ultimately conversions.
For example, one of my video editing clients is doing cooking. So every day they do a little segment on Instagram teaching a quick recipe. This has become their “television” program that people are now daily tuning in to.
Obviously, you don’t necessarily have to do it daily, but if you can create episodes of yourself or your business you will build a highly relevant community around a specific topic that tends to convert really, really well.
This is a very important tip. Do series of videos around the same topic or niche, don’t just post videos on random subjects because that will not work as well.
Over to you
So now you know some of my best tips to absolutely step up your Instagram marketing game.
Remember to always upload vertical or square videos, don’t neglect the technical aspects such as lighting, audio quality, spot-on editing. Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look when you can and definitely optimize your titles and video covers.
Last but not least, and this is valid across all platforms, create quality content. That’s it from my side. Feel free to ask questions if you have any.
About the author:
Cristian Stanciu is the owner and video post-production coordinator of Veedyou.com – an online company that offers video editing services to clients such as videographers, small to medium size businesses, digital agencies, or video production studios. You can follow him on LinkedIn.